Abstract: Domestic tourism is the cornerstone of economic development processes in most cities and Durban is no exception since it is the center of attraction in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The main aim of the study was to examine the significance of domestic tourism in Durban.

A qualitative study was undertaken, in which purposive sampling was used. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted, and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Study findings highlighted the importance of tourism for job creation, poverty alleviation, and infrastructure development.

Introduction: The travel sector is among the largest industries creating indirect and direct employment, mostly for the local people who live in the communities around a tourism destination, generating business opportunities for other industries (Maharaj, Sucheran & Pillay, 2006). Robbins (2017: 36) found that in 2014, “1 in 25 individuals work in the tourism sector”. In most developing countries, domestic tourism constitutes a large and growing proportion of the industry, at approximately 80% (Mazimhaka, 2007).

Tourism: Tourism has different meanings based on particular activities. According to Mthethwa (2003), tourism is an activity that is undertaken by a person, with the said person traveling and spending at least one night away from home for either business or leisure purposes.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) (2014), defines domestic tourism as the activity where the resident travels within the country of reference but outside of his/her own environment, the intention of traveling could be holiday, business, medical, shopping visiting family and friends. In addition, the travel should have an economic impact on the visited destination.